Ghana reports alarming numbers of HIV/AIDS infections among children

GHANA – The National AIDS/STI Control body in Ghana has announced that at least 5,200 new infections of HIV were recorded in children 0-14 out of a total population of about 19,000 in a recent roundup study.

Dr Stephen Ayisi Addo, Programmes Manager at the organization said data from the 2020 HIV Sentinel Survey conducted by the Ghana Aids Commission further revealed that out of the number, 18 per cent were females.

According to him, since the first case of HIV in 1988, there were currently 346,120 people leaving with HIV as at the end of 2020, with 66 per cent of the figure being females and about eight per cent children aged 0-14.

The new HIV cases have been recorded amongst persons 15-19 years, which meant that new infections were appearing in the younger age group, revealing that there was some interaction between younger people and older persons in terms of sexual engagements.

NACP had observed that persons who were cohabiting had the highest prevalence of 3.5 per cent, while singles accounted for 3.1 per cent and married people 2.5 per cent.

Dr Ayisi Addo noted that the younger people continued to have some risk of HIV transmission despite the fact their prevalence compared to age 15-24 with a 1.1 per cent prevalence, was lower than very old people with a prevalence rate of seven per cent.

He said as one aged, the risk of HIV was higher, adding that the Survey considered persons living with HIV with a possibility that pregnant woman who came to deliver may have been positive before delivery since fertility at age 45 was low as compared to age 19.

This is even as the Health Services Workers’ Union (HSWU) is leading a nationwide strike from Tuesday, October 26, over alleged unfair treatment by Government towards their members.

Mr Flanklin Owusu Ansah, the General Secretary of the Union, briefing the media, said their resumption would depend on how the government team facilitated their negotiations in good faith and concluded all outstanding issues.

“It is perturbing to note that Government has deliberately decided to cause segregation and disharmony within the health fraternity,” Owusu said adding that their Condition of Service since 2016 had not seen any proper implementation.

The HSWU currently has a membership strength of over 28000, mainly paramedics, working in the public health facilities across the country.

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